Google+ and the proliferation of social networks

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Maybe you’ve heard about Google+, maybe you haven’t.

It’s yet another new social network, this time run by, you guessed it, Google.

There’s been a fair bit of buzz around Google+. It’s being touted as the fastest growing social network with over 25 million users already.

Right now, I’m struggling to understand why I should use it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely site. Lots of people I know are using it. It has some cool features such as ‘circles’ which let you group people together and view their updates as a stand-alone stream.

The problem for me is that I’ve yet to find a real use for it.

I probably felt the same way about Twitter and Facebook once upon a time.

I’m stuck between wanting to be present in a new online space, such as Google+, and making sure that I don’t just repeat the same updates, share the same links and follow the same people as I do on Facebook and Twitter.

I certainly feel pressure to be there. I don’t want to appear closed to new technologies and ideas. I don’t want to get left behind. I don’t want to seem ‘old school’ because I’m not keeping up with the times.

I guess that’s what happens when you work in digital media: this invisible force makes you feel as though you have to be everwhere at once or you’re not cool.

Reflecting on my own use of social networks I certainly see a pattern.

I go through phases of heavy and light use. Sometimes I can’t bear to log in to Twitter or Facebook. Other times I can’t get enough of them.

Oddly I never tire of blogging or reading blogs.

And so perhaps, one day soon, I’ll feel compelled to spend time on Google+. Right now, I don’t. I pop in every now and then to see what people are up to but rarely have a desire to post my own updates. I’ve no idea what I want to say and I’ve no idea what people want to hear.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and I should just trust that everything will fall into place when the time is right.

Maybe it’s too early to tell how Google+ will play out.

Are you on Google+? If so, how are you using the space? What role do you think this new social network will have in our digital world?

2 Comments

  1. Sammi Lennon says

    I understand exactly what you mean when you say “I’m stuck between wanting to be present in a new online space, such as Google+, and making sure that I don’t just repeat the same updates……..as I do onFacebook and Twitter”.  For me, that sentiment is akin to the way I feel when my daughters talk to me about music occasionally enabling me to stumble over new bands or genres I’d not previously heard of.  On the one hand I feel bad that I haven’t heard of them (‘specially cos I was once a cool gal who knew her musical stuff) while on the other I feel frustrated that I haven’t the time to dedicate to listening to more music and getting abreast of new scenes.  If I had still more hands another one would cradle my melancholy over (truth be told) being a bit set in my ways and past caring about new musical scenes probably best left to the ‘young un’s’!  I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes it’s necessary to replicate what has already been, not because the newer version is better but because it seems better, fresher if you will, to those young people rising through the ranks who require somthing just for them.  I’ll be sticking to the social networking goliath of my generation and am proud of it, hope you do too!!

  2. Thanks for your comment Sam. I think you make an important point – we need to keep an open mind when new things come along even if they seem a lot like things we already have. The music comparison is a good one.

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